Kuranda - the peaceful hippie village and Barron Falls

We heard about kuranda from one of our helicopter pilots, so we thought we'd stop in on the way back to Cairns. Started as a place for people who wanted an alternative lifestyle in the 60's, it's now a picturesque mountain retreat full of markets, friendly people, and colorful artwork. You will also see the occasional rasta hair and sandals though. We read about a place to eat buckwheat crepes in this village, and had a bit of a search to find it, but we ended up eating at the Petit Cafe, in the heart of the old market buildings. It has been said these are the best buckwheat crepes in Australia. Here you are immersed in the culture of the village and the sounds of the rainforest. We shared a couple of crepes- one with spinach and salmon, the other with banana and ice cream. Both were outstanding. Then we headed over to a man cutting coconuts you could drink with a straw. The most adorable 2 year old boy was slurping away like it was the finest nectar ever! We opted for a more traditional smoothie. The best part of eating in Australia is the conversation from the people we meet. They come from all over the world and all have something to share. This man shared the original island story of how sailors in 1400s would plant tamarind trees along the coastline to be used for their vitamin c. Then the bluish trees could be seen from the sea and it marked the trading places.

After exploring Kuranda, we drove to nearby Barron Falls. You could also take a rustic train or skyway from Cairns with James Bond like sky cars. I'm quite sure the views were stunning but we'd already done something similar at the Blue mountains. It rained last night so there was some water coming off the falls. The amount varies greatly depending on the season. There are several lookout points and a nice trail on wooden walkways set high above the rainforest floor. We didn't notice the mosquitoes so much because we'd put on some repellent in the parking lot. Good thing! It was a nice morning hike before driving to cairns for the night. Next stop Auckland, New Zealand!


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